Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Writing - RIP Colin Dexter

One of the most influential writers of the twentieth century died today. Colin Dexter created the detective Inspector Endeavour Morse. Morse became a top watched TV series and has generated two spin off programmes in Lewis and Endeavour.

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Colin Dexter (1930 - 2017)

Colin Dexter is very readable and his story lines are incredibly convoluted. John Thaw immortalised the policeman on the small screen but Dexter made cameo appearances in the programmes rather like Alfred Hitchcock.

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John Thaw as Morse

Actor Shaun Evans played the role of Endeavour Morse in the prequel Endeavour.

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Shaun Evans as Endeavour

The Morse series ran from 1987 - 2000 and has been repeated almost daily ever since. Endeavour is a much smaller project but has already been repeated a couple of times.

In fact I have read ten Morse stories and as with Ian Rankin's detective series they started rather slowly but were thoroughly cracking by the time I got half way through.

My own books are easy to criticise as are all stories but I would hope that people see the development.

Even though I wrote this story I understand that it is raw but what I hope is that people can engage with the characters and then through the sequels understand from whence I am coming.


Patrick Steele is an accountant with training for various physical skills. He has made himself a self-styled Robin Hood available to right the wrongs of society using his skills as an accountant and a man of violence. The Gurentai, a sub-group of the Japanese Yakuza, employs him to prevent the incursion of the Mafia into England - specifically the northeast. The Mafia have blackmailed, or so it seems, a member of the local government planning committee to give contracts to a building firm under their control. That is James Thompson, but his wife Janice is hiding a secret! The Gurentai set Steele up with a Swiss bank account with sufficient remuneration to purchase an empty factory unit and set it up as a training facility and garage for himself. He also is to follow Aikido training to hone his skills in hand-to-hand combat and to adopt the spiritual attitudes of the Gurentai. The action begins near the Thompson household and at a building site operated by the Italian sponsored building firm. He indulges in some property sabotage and minor wounding of one of the hierarchy of the building firm. This does not have the desired effect however, and in an effort to discover the prime movers heads after the source of the funds, to The Marche, a region on Italy's east coast. Here Steele discovers the 'family' responsible for the fraud that is taking place in England and assassinates the member who controls all family business. He is caught twice in getting away but manages to escape himself, the second time with the help of two members of the Gurentai, Sumisu and Misaki. They fly him out to their HQ in Osaka, Japan and he learns more of the group he has been employed by. They, Steele, Mr Sumisu and Misaki, return to England to finish the job they had started. There is a modicum of love interest between Steele and Misaki that ends in tragedy later on in the story when Misaki is killed. Steele tries again to put the 'frighteners' on James Thompson but to no avail. Thompson is then assassinated in his front hall and shortly afterwards the Thompson females escape heading for the Newcastle quayside. Steele takes Janice off a cargo vessel and while being watched by Misaki escapes but then Misaki is killed. In the ensuing chase Steele catches up with Janice and her party and ends the matter. Throughout the story Steele is struggling with his newfound wealth and the morality of what he is required to do. The twist at the end concerning Janice Thompson is intended to heighten the suspense.

God Bless